Regardless of age or state of health: At any time and for everyone, whether a person is healthy or suffering from an illness, starting a physical activity can increase his life expectancy.
It's never too late. Pursuing and especially starting regular physical activity, including between middle and old age, increases the chances of living longer. This is confirmed by a British study published in The BMJ. Nearly one in two deaths (46%) related to physical inactivity could thus be avoided with an hour and a half per week of moderate intensity physical activity.
In France, a practical guide for doctors
In France, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) published in 2018 a practical guide for doctors for the "promotion and medical prescription of physical activity and sport" allowing practitioners to prescribe this activity to people with chronic or health-related conditions such as aging or pregnancy for which the benefits of physical activity are recognized.
The study published by the BMJ goes further on recognizing the benefits of body-moving practices by examining the relationship between changes in physical activity over time and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer deaths.
Data from 15,000 people aged 40 to 79
Researchers at the University of Cambridge used data from nearly 15,000 men and women aged 40 to 79 recruited between 1993 and 1997. Participants were assessed at the beginning of the study and three more times average duration of 7.6 years until 2004. From this year, mortality in this group was assessed until 2016. During the study period, 3 148 deaths were recorded 950 for cardiovascular disease and 1091 for cancer.
As a result, the researchers found that in those who were inactive at the beginning of the study and had developed regular physical activity over a 5-year period, the risk of death from all causes was 24% lower, the risk of cardiovascular death reduced by 29% and the risk of cancer deaths by 11%.
The decrease in the risk of death can reach 42%
The positive effects of physical activity recorded were similar in people with or without a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer. And most importantly, compared to people who were constantly inactive, those who had developed their physical activity over time had a lower risk of death from all causes, regardless of past activity level. The decrease in the risk of death even reached 42% for those who already had significant physical activity and who became even more active.
"These results are encouraging, especially for middle-aged and older adults with cardiovascular disease or cancer who can gain a lot in longevity by becoming more active," say researchers at Cambridge University. .